Health anxiety instead of performance anxiety among opera singers
Opera singers experience certain work strains; they work as soloists, depend highly on their vocal functioning and have to exhibit a consistent level of superior performance throughout a long career. The literature also shows that they report increased levels of hypochondriasis and extensive concern about vocal functioning and somatic impairment. Data from a previous study (Sandgren, 2002) were further explored to better understand the opera singers’ preoccupation with vocal functioning. The aim of the study was to explore if psychological and voice-related variables would be related to concepts of performance anxiety and health anxiety. The results indicated that psychological and voice-related variables were significantly associated with performance anxiety among professionally well-established opera singers (n=49) in Sweden. Moreover, it appears as if significant aspects of health anxiety can be found among opera singers; they worry about being affected by a somatic impairment (that will be harmful for vocal functioning), their reassurance-seeking behavior by regularly taking a few tones to check their vocal functioning and visiting caregivers. Coping strategies were not associated with performance anxiety or health issues. The present study extends the body of knowledge on performance anxiety by suggesting that opera singers, with the voice as core instrument, suffer from a particular type of health anxiety that is related to performance anxiety. ...
ConferenceESCOM 2009 : 7th Triennial Conference of European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music
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- ESCOM 2009 
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